A criminal investigation has been opened into the death of Alex Murdaugh's former housekeeper, authorities say

·3 min read
Paul Maggie Murdaugh murder scene
Investigators are seen at the scene of a double homicide in Colleton County, South Carolina. WJCL
  • Authorities have opened a criminal investigation into the death of Alex Murdaugh's former housekeeper.

  • Her death was previously deemed a "trip and fall," but a coroner alleged an autopsy was never conducted.

  • Alex Murdaugh is turning himself in on Thursday on charges related to paying a hitman to shoot him.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Law enforcement agencies in South Carolina said they have opened a criminal investigation into the 2018 death of Gloria Satterfield, South Carolina legal mogul Alex Murdaugh's family housekeeper, according to local news station WCBD.

In a wrongful death settlement at the time, the Murdaugh family described Satterfield's death as a "trip and fall" accident.

But on Wednesday, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) said it opened an investigation into Satterfield's death "based upon a request from the Hampton County Coroner … as well as information gathered during the course of [the] other investigations involving Alex Murdaugh."

Coroner Angela Topper said Satterfield's death was not reported on time and no autopsy was performed, per WCBD. Topper said she wrote a letter to SLED chief Mark Keel requesting an investigation into Satterfield's death, noting it was deemed "natural" in a wrongful death settlement petition submitted by the Murdaugh family, which is "inconsistent with injuries sustained in a trip and fall accident."

On Wednesday, Satterfield's sons also filed a lawsuit against Murdaugh in which they alleged they were never awarded the $500,000 payment they were owed from the 2018 wrongful death settlement.

A series of incidents linked to the Murdaugh family

Alex Murdaugh and his family, a local legal dynasty, have been the subject of tragedy and scrutiny in connection with several incidents.

In 2019, the youngest Murdaugh son, Paul, was charged in connection to a boating crash that resulted in the death of a 19-year-old woman named Mallory Beach. Authorities said Murdaugh, who was driving, and the boaters were "grossly intoxicated," per Bluffon Today, and Murdaugh was charged with three felony counts of boating under the influence. Murdaugh pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In June, while he was awaiting trial, authorities found Paul and his mother, Margaret "Maggie" Murdaugh, shot to death outside their family home. Their deaths remain unsolved.

And on September 4, Alex Murdaugh was shot in the head and survived, his lawyer told The New York Times at the time. Murdaugh now stands accused of trying to arrange his own murder in the shooting, state police said in a report released Tuesday. Authorities allege that Murdaugh hired a hitman to shoot him so his surviving son could receive a $10 million life insurance payment.

SLED charged Curtis Edward Smith, who was accused of shooting Alex Murdaugh, with assisted suicide and insurance fraud, as well as aggravated assault and battery.

On Wednesday, Fox Carolina reported that Alex Murdaugh would be turning himself in on Thursday in Hampton County on multiple charges.

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